How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask P. Simmons Your Own Question

P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26154
Experience:  16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
P. Simmons is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

hi, i returned a merchandise item with the wrong tag, the store

Resolved Question:

hi, i returned a merchandise item with the wrong tag, the store was suspicious of my item, but they let me return it anyway. So after the return, I shopped in the same store, and found some items I wanted to buy, when I approach the counter to pay for my item, the lady that did my returned turned around and made a call and I heard she said, "she's here". and looked at me. It seems like when she say "she's here", she was referring to me. I guess my question is, what are the penalties for returning a fraudulent item?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for the chance to assist

If you return an item fraudulently this would be a form of theft.


here is the code

Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-103 (2009)

§ 18.2-103. Concealing or taking possession of merchandise; altering price tags; transferring goods from one container to another; counseling, etc., another in performance of such acts

   Whoever, without authority, with the intention of converting goods or merchandise to his own or another's use without having paid the full purchase price thereof, or of defrauding the owner of the value of the goods or merchandise, (i) willfully conceals or takes possession of the goods or merchandise of any store or other mercantile establishment, or (ii) alters the price tag or other price marking on such goods or merchandise, or transfers the goods from one container to another, or (iii) counsels, assists, aids or abets another in the performance of any of the above acts, when the value of the goods or merchandise involved in the offense is less than $ 200, shall be guilty of petit larceny and, when the value of the goods or merchandise involved in the offense is $ 200 or more, shall be guilty of grand larceny. The willful concealment of goods or merchandise of any store or other mercantile establishment, while still on the premises thereof, shall be prima facie evidence of an intent to convert and defraud the owner thereof out of the value of the goods or merchandise.


So, depending on the amount, it will be either a misdemeanor or a felony.   First offense typically would involve probation and perhaps a fine.



Please let me know if you have further questions; if so I will do my best to answer them. If not please hit the accept button, its the only way I get credit for my work.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Since they didn't say anything to me about this fraudulent returned item, how likely will I be in trouble? Do they have to catch me on the spot in order to prosecute me? If they decided to do an investigation on the item, how long can they keep this open? I am just not sure how long I should be worrying about this. and what would happen if they did an investigation and found out that the item is fradulent?

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 5 years ago.
The do not need to catch you on the spot...but it would make the case much stronger...if you have not yet been arrested I suspect you will not be.

That said, the statute of limitations is at least a year...so they could investigate...but if they have not yet, unless new evidence comes to light it is not likely they will

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
sorry for all these questions. Do they have to notify me if they do an investigation? The statute of limitations is at least a year, what does that mean? does that mean they can investigate for 10 years? what is the worst fine for this situation? would I be put in jail? or a fine? what is the max fine dollar amount? I just want to prepare myself for the worst that could happen. thanks
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 5 years ago.
In VA statute of limitations for theft is 5 years.

They do not need to notify you, but if they ask to question you, I recommend you decline unless you have an attorney with you.

If this is a first offense, it is not likely you would go to jail, but it is likely you would get a fine and probation.

This page will give more info on fines

http://www.abc.state.va.us/facts/punish.html


P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26154
Experience: 16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
P. Simmons and 6 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
< Last | Next >
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/retiredlawyer/2012-6-6_19326_franL.64x64.jpg Fran L.'s Avatar

    Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    2079
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NA/nathanmoorelaw/2011-5-31_21375_headshotbig.64x64.jpg Nate's Avatar

    Nate

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1625
    Over 10 years of criminal defense practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1434
    30 years legal experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/philip.simmons/2012-6-7_161915_BIGPhilipSimmons.64x64.jpg P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1418
    16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/marshadjd/2009-6-1_194320_marshajd.jpg Marsha411JD's Avatar

    Marsha411JD

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1380
    Licensed attorney with 27 yrs. exp. in criminal law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RO/RobertJDFL/2012-6-6_175352_7538220120606.64x64.jpg RobertJDFL's Avatar

    RobertJDFL

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1300
    Experienced in multiple areas of the law.